Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is being overweight a disability?

The Montana Supreme Court says maybe. in a 4-3 decision, the state's highest court said that obesity without a physiological cause may constitute a physical impairment under state discrimination law. The decision is significant outside of Montana because the high court issued the opinion in response to a question reported by a federal court concerning whether obesity may, by itself, qualify as a disability under the American With Disabilities Act.

The significance of the decision is that obesity has previously been considered a disability only when caused by a physiological disorder or condition. The decision may cause people who are overweight without any underlying disorder or condition to claim they are disabled if they are denied employment opportunities due to being overweight.

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